Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Official blog of the Lehigh University Chemical Engineers

Using Chemistry in Chemical Engineering

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After the first couple of weeks and the first exam I was surprised at how often chemistry would be used. One of the main reason I wanted to major in Chemical Engineering was to apply chemistry into the concept. I looked into becoming a chemist but decided to go with chemical engineering. One of the basic system questions that comes up a lot is a combustion reaction. Professor McHugh sets up the question with some compound reacts with excess air and then gives us the mole percentage of the products. We have to set up both complete and incomplete combustion reactions ourselves. From there most of the problem is chemistry from finding out the limiting and excess reagent to using that to find the excess amount of air. One of the more recent chapters dealt with gas flow in a system.  Here the volume, pressure, and the temperatures are given but not the moles. To find the moles the Ideal Gas Law PV=nRT is used.  The system is usually given two different pressures or temperatures at the beginning and ending of it. One sort of system involves looking at the phase diagram to decipher the needed information. Chemistry is a useful concept that comes up a lot when solving Chemical Engineering.

 

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